For I am persuaded beyond doubt (am sure) that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities, nor things impending and threatening nor things to come, nor powers, Nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation will be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 8: 38-39 (AMP)
I’ve heard it said that you don’t really know how you will respond to a situation until you are faced with it. Everyone thinks they have an idea of themselves, their coping skills, their strengths and weaknesses- but it is truly in the moment when our eyes are opened to who we really are and what we are really made of. Some cute little saying about women being like teabags comes to mind.
Recently, in the midst of one of those eye opening moments, a dear sister in Christ asked me a very critical question. “Will you still love God no-matter what?” She knew that it must be established. The essence of the “no-matter what” in her question only added fuel to the fire of my full-on gut wrenching sob. Strategically silent she continued to rub my back in empathy while the question hung in the air as heavy as a soaking wet beach towel.
I was surprised at my inability to answer that question without hesitation. Up until this point in my walk with the Lord that would have been a “no-brainer.” Boldly and passionately I would have declared my undying love for Him, my unwavering faith in Him, my wholehearted abandoned surrender to Him. At this moment however, the “no-matter what” that I faced was so dreadful and pregnant with pain that I really had to weigh in my heart what truth was. Would I still love Him no-matter what? I had never been faced with a “no-matter what” of this magnitude before and that caused my answer to form much more slowly than I ever thought it would.
Believers face “no-matter what’s” in their lives on a daily basis. Those circumstances which cause others to shake their head in horror laden disbelief while offering sympathy at the inability to imagine what it would be like to be in those shoes.
This wasn’t the first time this issue of “no-matter what” has been posed in my relationship with the Lord. As I came to know Him, came to love Him, it was I who had offered this crucial question in a plethora of different ways.
“Will you still love me no-matter what?” For so long it was impossible for me to fathom a love so deep, so wide and so complete that it could span the enormity of my failures and inadequacies. A love that was truly unconditional and without limits. Time and time again I would find myself before Him posing the question “Even now Lord, even now will you love me?” He never hesitated, He never wavered, always responding with a loving and faithful “Yes, no-matter what.”
I couldn’t understand it, it didn’t make sense to me. And yet, it was this very love that has formed the firm foundation of our relationship. It truly is His unconditional love, kindness and patience that has led me to repentance (Romans 2:4).
And so, with a tear stained face and stuffed up nose I sat up and wiped away the hair that was plastered to my face. Emotions raged within. Heartache, anger, lack of understanding and frustration of depths which I had not previously known. And yet, a resounding knowledge of the ultimate truth held firm. Where was there for me to go besides the Lord? Outside of Him, there is no hope.
A fresh set of tears began to flow as I heard myself say from a surrendered heart “Yes, no-matter what.”
Father, help me to love you and never turn my heart from you no-matter what.